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News/Business. Steve Kroft, Lesley Stahl, Bob Simon. (2013) An account from a Westerner who was in Benghazi during the al-Qaida attack on the U.S. consulate. New. (CC) (Stereo)

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Logan 50, U.s. 15, Morell 9, Hicks 9, Afghanistan 8, Us 8, Mike Morell 6, Libya 6, Tripoli 5, Lucic 4, Peter Gelb 4, Greg Hicks 4, Chris Stevens 3, Citi 3, Iraq 3, Ford 3, Washington 3, America 3, The City 2, Giuseppe Verdi 2,
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  CBS    60 Minutes    News/Business. Steve Kroft, Lesley Stahl, Bob Simon.  (2013)  
   An account from a Westerner who was in Benghazi during the...  

    October 27, 2013
    7:00 - 8:00pm PDT  

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captioning funded by cbs and ford >> i knew ho it was immediately. >> logan: who was it? >> it was the ambassador, dead. >> logan: when ambassador chris stevens and four other americans were killed last year in an attack on a diplomatic outpost in libya, there were urgent calls for answers. [gunfire] accurate information has been hard to come by, but as you'll hear tonight, for those who lived through it, there is little confusion. >> we have one option -- leave benghazi or you will be called. >> logan: wait a minute. you said during the final planning stages of an attack on an american mission in benghazi? >> it was obvious. >> miller: mike morell was deputy director of the cia and he gave us the only television
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interview he's ever done. >> i think he has betrayed his country. >> miller: first thing we asked morell about was the last thing he did at cia, taking part in the damage assessment on edward snowden. how serious a threat is that to national security? >> this is the most serious leak, the most serious compromise of classified information in the history of the u.s. intelligence agency. >> >> miller: because of the amount of it or the type in >> the amount and the type. ♪ ♪ >> simon: the phrase "the greatest show on earth" usually refers to the circus, but man named peter gelb who runs the metropolitan opera in new york city is doing everything he can to change that. there's no other place where you can see such monumental staging, elaborate sets and a cast of hundreds. but the met is above all about extraordinary voices, some of the best voices in the world. tonight we're going to take you
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backstage at the met and show it to you in a way you've never seen it before. >> i'm steve kroft. >> i'm lesley stahl. >> i'm morley safer. >> i'm bob simon. >> i'm lara logan. >> i'm scott pelley. those stories tonight on "60 minutes." >> cbs money watch update sponsored by: >> glor: good evening. the fed meets this week and is expected to maintain its current bond-buying program, currently $85 billion a month. the new york stock exchange says the mock ipo it staged for twitter this weekend went well. and apple is out with earnings tomorrow. facebook on wednesday. i'm jeff glor, cbs news. what you wear to bed is your business.
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♪ [ male announcer ] eeny, meeny, miny, go. more adventures await in the lexus lx, rx, and new seven-passenger gx. dare to be spontaneous. >> logan: when chris stevens was killed in benghazi, libya on the anniversary of september 11 last year, it was only the sixth time that the united states had lost an ambassador to its enemies. the events of that night have been overshadowed by misinformation, confusion and intense partisanship. but for those who lived through it, there's nothing confusing about what happened, and they share a sense of profound frustration because they say they saw it coming.
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tonight, you will hear for the first time from a security officer who witnessed the attack. he calls himself, morgan jones, a pseudonym he's using for his own safety. a former british soldier, he's been helping to keep u.s. diplomats and military leaders safe for the last decade. on a night he describes as sheer hell, morgan jones snuck into a benghazi hospital that was under the control of al qaeda terrorists, desperate to find out if one of his close friends from the u.s. special mission was the american he'd been told was there. >> morgan jones: i was dreading seeing who it was, you know? it didn't take long to get to the... to the room. and i could see in through the... through the glass. and i didn't even have to go into the room to see who it was. i knew who it was immediately. >> logan: who was it?
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>> jones: it was the ambassador, dead. yeah, shocking. >> logan: morgan jones said he'd never felt so angry in his life. only hours earlier, ambassador chris stevens had sought him out, concerned about the security at the u.s. special mission compound where morgan was in charge of the libyan guard force. now, the ambassador was dead and the u.s. compound was engulfed in flames and overrun by dozens of heavily armed fighters. although the attack began here, the more organized assault unfolded about a mile across the city at a top secret c.i.a. facility known as the annex. it lasted more than seven hours and took four american lives. >> carney: we do not have any indication at this point of premeditation or preplanned
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attacks. >> logan: contrary to the white house's public statements, which were still being made a full week later, it's now well established that the americans were attacked by al qeada in a well-planned assault. five months before that night, morgan jones first arrived in benghazi, in eastern libya about 400 miles from the capital, tripoli. he thought this would be an easy assignment compared to afghanistan and iraq. but on his first drive through benghazi, he noticed the black flags of al qaeda flying openly in the streets and he grew concerned about the guard force as soon as he pulled up to the u.s. compound. >> jones: there was nobody there that we could see. and then we realized they were all inside drinkin' tea, laughin' and jokin'. >> logan: what did you think? >> instantly i thought we're gonna have to get rid of all these guys. >> logan: morgan jones' job was training the unarmed guards who manned the compound's gates.
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a second libyan force-- an armed militia hired by the state department-- was supposed to defend the compound in the event of an attack. morgan had nothing to do with the militia, but they worried him so much, he could not keep quiet. >> jones: i was saying, "these guys are no good. you need to... you need to get 'em out of here." >> logan: you also kept saying, "if this place is attacked these guys are not gonna stand and fight?" >> jones: yeah. i used to say it all the time. yeah, in the end i got quite bored of hearing my own voice saying it. >> andy wood: we had one option: "leave benghazi or you will be killed." >> logan: green beret commander lieutenant colonel andy wood was one of the top american security officials in libya. based in tripoli, he met with ambassador stevens every day. the last time he went to benghazi was in june, just three months before the attack. while he was there, al qaeda tried to assassinate the british
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ambassador. wood says, to him, it came as no surprise because al qaeda-- using a familiar tactic-- had stated their intent in an online posting, saying they would attack the red cross, the british and then the americans in benghazi. >> logan: and you watched as they... >> wood: as they did each one of those. >> logan: attacked the red cross and the british mission. and the only ones left... >> wood: were us. they made good on two out of the three promises. it was a matter of time till they-they captured the third one. >> logan: and washington was aware of that? >> wood: they knew we monitored it. we included that in our... in our reports to both state department and d.o.d. >> logan: andy wood told us he raised his concerns directly with ambassador stevens three months before the u.s. compound was overrun. >> wood: i made it known in a country team meeting, "you are gonna get attacked. you are gonna get attacked in benghazi. it's gonna happen. you need to change your security profile." >> logan: "shut down..." >> wood: "shut down..." >> logan: "the special mission..." >> wood: "shut down operations.
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move out temporarily. or change locations within the city. do somethin' to break up the profile because you are being targeted. they are... they are... they are watching you. the attack cycle is such that they're in the final planning stages." >> logan: wait a minute, you said, "they're in the final planning stages of an attack on the american mission in benghazi"? >> wood: it was apparent to me that that was the case. reading... reading all these other attacks that were occurring, i could see what they were staging up to, it was... it was obvious. >> logan: we have learned the u.s. already knew that this man, senior al qaeda leader abu anas al libi, was in libya, tasked by the head of al qaeda to establish a clandestine terrorist network inside the country. al-libi was already wanted for his role in bombing two u.s. embassies in africa. >> greg hicks: it was a frightening piece of information. >> logan: because it meant what?
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>> hicks: it raised the stakes, changed the game. >> logan: greg hicks, who testified before congress earlier this year, was ambassador stevens' deputy, based in tripoli, a 22-year veteran of the foreign service with an impeccable reputation. logan: and in that environment you were asking for more security assets and you were not getting them? >> hicks: that's right. >> logan: did you fight that? >> hicks: i was in the process of trying to frame a third request, but it was not allowed to go forward. >> logan: so why didn't you get the help that you needed and that you asked for? >> hicks: i really, really don't know. i, in fact, would like to know that... the answer to that question. >> logan: in the months prior to the attack, ambassador stevens approved a series of detailed cables to washington, specifically mentioning, among other things, "the al qaeda flag has been spotted several times flying over government
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buildings." when the attack began on the evening of september 11, ambassador stevens immediately called greg hicks, who was back in tripoli. >> hicks: ambassador said that the consulate's under attack. and then the line cut. >> logan: do you remember the sound of his voice? >> hicks: oh yeah, it's indelibly imprinted on my mind. >> logan: how did he sound? >> hicks: he sounded frightened. >> logan: in benghazi, morgan jones, who was at his apartment about 15 minutes away, got a frantic call from one of his libyan guards. >> jones: i could hear gunshots. and he said, "there's-there's men coming into the mission." his voice, he was... he was scared, you could tell he was really scared and he was running. i could tell he was running. >> logan: his first thought was for his american friends, the
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state department agents who were pinned down inside the compound, and he couldn't believe it when one of them answered his phone. >> jones: i said, "what's going on?" he said, "we're getting attacked." and i said, "how many?" and he said, "they're all over the compound." and i felt shocked. i didn't know what to say. and i said, "well, just keep fighting. i'm on my way." >> logan: morgan's guards told him the armed libyan militia that was supposed to defend the compound had fled, just as morgan had predicted. his guards-- unarmed and terrified-- sounded the alarm, but they were instantly overwhelmed by the attackers. >> jones: they said, "we're here to kill americans, not libyans," so they'd give 'em a good beating-- pistol whip them, beat them with their rifles-- and let them go. >> logan: "we're here to kill americans." >> jones: that's what they said, yeah. >> logan: not libyans. >> jones: yeah. >> logan: about 30 minutes into the attack, a quick reaction force from the c.i.a. annex
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ignored orders to wait and raced to the compound, at times running and shooting their way through the streets just to get there. inside the compound, they repelled a force of as many as 60 armed terrorists and managed to save five american lives and recover the body of foreign service officer, sean smith. they were forced to fight their way out before they could find the ambassador. not long afterwards, morgan jones scaled the 12-foot-high wall of the compound that was still overrun with al qaeda fighters. >> jones: one guy saw me. he just shouted. i couldn't believe that he'd seen me 'cause it was so dark. he started walking towards me. >> logan: and as he was coming closer? >> jones: as i got closer, i just hit him with the butt of the rifle in the face. >> logan: and? >> jones: oh, he went down, yeah. >> logan: he dropped?
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>> jones: yeah, like a stone. >> logan: with his face smashed in? >> jones: yeah. >> logan: and no one saw you do it? >> jones: no. >> logan: or heard it? >> jones: no, there was too much noise. >> logan: the same force that had gone to the compound was now defending the c.i.a. annex. hours later, they were joined by a small team of americans from tripoli. from defensive positions on these rooftops, the americans fought back a professional enemy. in a final wave of intense fighting just after 5:00 a.m., the attackers unleashed a barrage of mortars. three of them slammed into this roof, killing former navy seals tyrone woods and glen doherty. >> logan: they hit that roof three times. >> wood: they hit those roofs three times. >> logan: in the dark. >> wood: yeah, that's getting the basketball through the hoop over your shoulder. >> logan: what does it take to pull off an attack like that? >> wood: coordination, planning, training, experienced personnel.
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they practice those things. they knew what they were doing. that was a... that was a well- executed attack. >> logan: we have learned that there were two delta force operators who fought at the annex and they've since been awarded the distinguished service cross and the navy cross, two of the military's highest honors. the americans who rushed to help that night went without asking for permission, and the lingering question is why no larger military response ever crossed the border into libya-- something greg hicks realized wasn't going to happen just an hour into the attack. you have this conversation with the defense attaché. you ask him what military assets are on their way. and he says... >> hicks: effectively, they're not. and i... for a moment, i just felt lost. i just couldn't believe the answer.
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and then i made the call to the annex chief, and i told him, "listen, you've gotta tell those guys there may not be any help coming." >> logan: that's a tough thing to understand. why? >> hicks: it just is. we... for us, for the people that go out onto the edge, to represent our country, we believe that if we get in trouble, they're coming to get us. that our back is covered. to hear that it's not, it's a terrible, terrible experience. >> logan: the u.s. government today acknowledges the americans at the u.s. compound in benghazi were not adequately protected, and says those who carried out the attack are still being hunted down. just a few weeks ago, abu anas al-libi was captured for his
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role in the africa bombings and the u.s. is still investigating what part he may have played in benghazi. we've learned that this man, sufian bin qumu, a former guantanamo bay detainee and long-time al qaeda operative, was one of the lead planners along with faraj al-chalabi, whose ties to osama bin laden go back more than 15 years. he's believed to have carried documents from the compound to the head of al qaeda in pakistan. the morning after the attack, morgan jones went back to the compound one last time to document the scene. he took these photos, which he gave to the f.b.i., and has published in a book he has written. after all this time, he told us he's still haunted by a conversation he had with foreign service officer sean smith a week before the attack. >> jones: yeah, he was worried.
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he wasn't happy with the security. >> logan: and you didn't tell him all your worries? >> jones: no. no, didn't want to... >> logan: why not? >> jones: i didn't want to worry him anymore, you know? he's a nice guy. i sort of promised him he'd be okay. >> logan: you think about that? >> jones: every day, yeah. >> logan: the u.s. pulled out of benghazi and al qaeda has grown in power across libya. when a member of our team went to the u.s. compound earlier this month, he found remnants of the americans' final frantic moments still scattered on the ground. among them: ambassador stevens' official schedule for september 12, 2012, a day he didn't live to see. it's simple physics...
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>> miller: there may be no period that so dramatically redefined the world of u.s. intelligence than the decade following the september 11 attacks. through those tumultuous years, there was one man who was in the
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room for almost every important decision. mike morell was deputy director of the c.i.a., and gave us the only television interview he's ever done. he spoke to us, largely because he believes the very nature of the spy business keeps successes in the shadows, but often pushes failure into the bright lights. morell operated in those shadows, but his insights have helped shape the key foreign policy decisions of the last three presidents. the first thing we asked morell about was the last thing he did at the c.i.a.: taking part in the damage assessment on edward snowden, the n.s.a. contractor who leaked classified documents about america's secret electronic surveillance programs. >> mike morell: i do not believe he was a whistleblower. i do not believe he is a hero. i think he has betrayed his country. >> miller: how serious a hit is that to national security? >> morell: i think this is the most serious leak-- the most serious compromise of classified information in the history of the u.s. intelligence community. >> miller: because of the amount of it? or the type?
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>> morell: the amount and the type. >> miller: but of the hundreds of pages of n.s.a. documents that snowden has leaked, morell pointed to one in particular that has caused a great deal of damage to u.s. intelligence. it's a copy of the top secret document the c.i.a. calls its" black budget." what value would that have to an adversary? >> morell: the real damage of leaking that document was that certainly they could focus their counter-intelligence efforts on those places where we're being successful and not have to worry as much about those places where we're not being successful. >> miller: kinda like handing over the playbook... >> morell: uh-huh. >> miller: ...to the other team? >> morell: uh-huh. >> miller: he went first to hong kong and then to russia. do you think that china and russia now have access to all or much of that material? >> morell: i think we have to assume that any material that mr. snowden had with him has been compromised.
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>> miller: protecting secrets is so engrained in the c.i.a. culture that cell phones aren't even allowed in the building. meetings are held in lead-lined rooms called secure compartmented intelligence facilities, or scifs, and if there is one room where they discuss the most closely guarded secrets of all it is the c.i.a. director's conference room. >> morell: on an average day, you know, we're making... we're making hundreds of decisions, a good number of them in this room. and they range across the entirety of the national security issues that this country faces. >> miller: mike morell joined the c.i.a. in 1980 as an energy policy analyst. a self-described nerd, he wanted adventure, and he would soon find plenty of it, as he rose through the ranks and became the key intelligence briefer for president george w. bush. morell traveled with the president wherever he went and was with him at a florida elementary school on september 11, 2001. >> morell: and what i'm actually
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standing there thinking is "i wonder how long we're gonna be here" because everybody knows the president was gonna be at this school on this date. and "is somebody gonna fly a plane into this place?" >> miller: morell would travel back to washington with the president. he was busy reviewing early intelligence the c.i.a. had collected, when he was told to look out the window of air force one. >> morell: and what you could see was an f-15 on the wing tip. you could see the pilot's face. and in the background, you could see the still burning pentagon. and that is a memory i'll never forget. >> miller: the c.i.a. launched a plan to dismantle al-qaeda and even today, the single most controversial piece of that strategy was the use of" enhanced interrogation techniques." let me read you a list of some of the techniques that were used by the c.i.a. to get information: waterboarding, hitting, bouncing suspects off walls, confining them in small spaces, loud music, sleep deprivation,
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nudity, keeping suspects in physical stress positions. if these were americans being held overseas by a foreign power, would we have called that torture? >> morell: i actually, john, want to challenge you on the word "torture." my officers carried out the guidance that was provided to them in both administrations, and obviously that was differing guidance. what's my view? my view was that those coercive techniques were the wrong thing to do. my view was that those techniques were inconsistent with american values. and for that reason i don't think they should have been done. >> miller: no top c.i.a. official has ever said that before. in morell's 33 years in the c.i.a., perhaps the boldest change in how the agency achieved results came literally out of the blue: armed drones in the skies over afghanistan,
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pakistan, somalia and yemen became the go-to weapon to kill al-qaeda terrorist. but the u.n. and others have said they have also caused hundreds of civilian fatalities. >> morell: this is a very precise weapon. collateral damage is very low. it's not zero, i wish it was. but it is as close to zero as we have gotten with any weapons system in the history of this country. there is no doubt in my mind that without these operations, that there would have been another attack in the homeland that would have rivaled the scale of 9/11. >> miller: to pave the way for military and intelligence operations including the use of drones, the c.i.a. has reportedly supplied between $50 and $100 million over the past decade, in direct cash payoffs to president karzai. foreign aid is one thing, but
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cash in suitcases and backpacks to the president and key aides has a different feel to it. >> morell: it's all foreign assistance to the government of afghanistan. >> miller: is there a quid pro quo here about you take care of me, and i'll allow unfettered drone operations in the country even though they're unpopular? >> morell: i think that those things that president karzai allows the united states of america to do in afghanistan are in the interests of afghanistan. >> miller: the c.i.a. has paid in cash, but also in blood during the war in afghanistan. at the agency's headquarters stars are etched into the marble marking the number of c.i.a. officers killed throughout the agency's history. a ledger contains a list of names, but some remain classified. when i look here, i see forward operating base chapman, probably if not the worst, one of the worst, days for losses in c.i.a.
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history. >> morell: absolutely. december, 2009-- we lost seven officers. it happened at this base in the khost province of afghanistan. a team of c.i.a. officers waited for this man, humam al-balawi. >> morell: somebody that we hoped to be an asset of ours in this fight had essentially double-crossed us and detonated a suicide vest. >> miller: this was the first time that a c.i.a. asset killed his case officer. >> miller: but while the attack in khost was the biggest loss of life for the c.i.a. since the start of the afghan war, the biggest loss of credibility came with the intelligence that led to the invasion of iraq. >> morell: i think that my biggest mistake was not in scrubbing that analysis more closely. i wish i would have done that.
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>> miller: after iraq, c.i.a. analysts were required to not just analyze the intelligence but also give an assessment of their level of confidence in what the agency's spies were reporting. >> morell: and so what we really learned from that experience was that analysts need to think about their confidence level and to be very, very clear with policy makers about it. >> miller: that would happen today? >> morell: that would happen today. >> miller: as a matter of discipline? >> morell: as a matter of course. as a matter of discipline, as a matter of the trade craft of doing intelligence analysis. >> miller: and that, morell says, was a key factor when the analysts were asked how sure they were osama bin laden would be found hiding in this compound in abbottabad. >> morell: the lead analyst put the number at 95%. the collective group of analysts put that number at 80%. when i said 60, the president asked me, "do you think we should do this?" and i said absolutely because i thought it was the best chance we ever had and might be the best chance we would have for a
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long, long time. >> miller: this photo, taken in the white house situation room on the night of the raid, was seen everywhere, but the operation was actually being run at c.i.a. headquarters, inside this room. >> morell: place was packed with people. computers everywhere, video conferencing with folks in afghanistan, the white house, folks at the pentagon. and just an awful lot of activity when the director and i walked in. >> miller: a picture captures the moment when mike morell and then c.i.a. director leon panetta heard the news bin laden had been killed. >> morell: and that's when they said, "geronimo, for god and country, geronimo." and the director and i gave each other a hug at that point. it wasn't a hug of happiness that bin laden had been killed; it was a hug of "this is over. this-this piece of this story is over." >> miller: today, bin laden's
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gun-- which was never fired on the night of the raid- as well as the scale model of bin laden's compound are on display at c.i.a. headquarters, and as mike morell finishes a career of 33 years assessing the strength and weaknesses of nations, he believes america can manage most external threats. but as an analyst he sees our greatest vulnerability is one generated right here at home. >> morell: what really keeps me up at night is the inability of our government to make decisions that will push our economy and our society forward. and one of the things i learned looking at the world is that a country's national security-- any country's national security-- is more dependent on the strength of its economy and on the strength of its society than anything else. i think there is for some reason that i don't understand, john, there's been a change from a willingness of the two parties to work together to get things done to today, the two parties
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at each other's throat and simply trying to score political points. and i don't know why that's occurred. and i... and i don't have a good understanding of how to fix that. but that's what needs to be fixed. victory. for more sports news and information gosh, to cbssports.com. he taught me that whales leave footprints, glassy circles on the surface that show us where they've been
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is caused by people looking fore traffic parking.y that's remarkable that so much energy is, is wasted. streetline has looked at the problem of parking, which has not been looked at for the last 30, 40 years, we wanted to rethink that whole industry, so we go and put out these sensors in each parking spot and then there's a mesh network that takes this information
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sends it over the internet so you can go find exactly where those open parking spots are. the collaboration with citi was important for providing us the necessary financing; allow this small start-up to go provide a service to municipalities. citi has been an incredible source of advice, how to engage with municipalities, how to structure deals, and as we think about internationally, citi is there every step of the way. so the end result is you reduce congestion, you reduce pollution and you provide a service to merchants, and that certainly is huge. >> simon: the phrase "the greatest show on earth" usually refers to the circus, but a man named peter gelb, who runs the metropolitan opera in new york city, is doing everything he can to change that.
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he is reinventing opera, making it accessible to more people, even those who always thought they would hate it. gelb wants opera to become as popular and populist as it was a hundred years ago. he believes people would come out in droves for opera if they just had a chance to see it. ♪ ♪ there's no other place where you can see such monumental staging, elaborate sets and a cast of hundreds. ♪ ♪ and raw emotion... beautiful women... defiant...and doomed. ♪ ♪
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and special effects that you might expect to find in a hollywood movie. ♪ ♪ but it's not just about the magic, the met is above all about extraordinary voices... some of the very best voices in the world. beginning with rehearsals, we followed a new production, a reimagining of giuseppe verdi's masterpiece "rigoletto." polish tenor piotr bezcala belts out one of verdi's greatest hits. what's the difference between singing at the met and singing in the smaller european houses? >> piotr beczala: it's the most
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important opera house in the world. >> simon: do you get more nervous before met performance than at other performances? >> beczala: maybe a little. maybe a little because i know how important is... it is here. >> simon: serbian baritone zjelko lucic sings the role of rigoletto. ♪ ♪ >> zeljko lucic: this is the kind of crown of our business, coming to new york and metropolitan.
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because i know what kind of people, what singers sang here and stood at the same place where i am. >> simon: in fact, when you sing the first time at the met, is it a very big deal? >> lucic: yes, because that's your chance to prove yourself. and if you are, you know, if you... how can i say, blew it out? >> simon: if you blow it? >> lucic: if you blow it, you're done. that's it. >> simon: unlike divas of the past german soprano diana damrau is a working mom, nursing a two month old baby and a cold. she has a lot to contend with. >> simon: you were quite sick last week? >> diana damrau: yes. i'm still a bit. but i tried not to sing all the time, and reduce a little bit. >> simon: just a little bit, i mean you were belting it out. >> damrau: oh, no, only at the end.
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♪ ♪ >> simon: "rigoletto" is far from the only thing going on here today. there can be as many as ten operas in production at once. right now the met stage is being set up for a new version of richard wagner's "parsifal," a sacred opera that's never been done like this before. dozens of raven-haired maidens sloshing around in a river of blood. 1,600 gallons of the stuff, heated so the singers don't get cold. overseeing all this is that worried-looking man, peter gelb,
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the met's general manager. he says opera is a blood sport. >> gelb: i go in every day to the met knowing that this is... there is a battle to be... to be waged and fought for the survival of this art form. and so i'm here to do that. >> simon: this is your seventh year at the met? >> gelb: yes. still here. ( laughs ) >> simon: seven years micromanaging one of the biggest theatres in the world, and one of the most expensive to run. the met employs over 3,000 people. it spends more than a million dollars a day on its productions. >> gelb: we are the closest thing to an opera factory that one could possibly imagine, except the difference is that all of our factory workers are the greatest artists in the world. >> right now. we got it. >> wahoo! >> gelb: we're doing seven performances a week, constantly going from opera to opera, which is why our stage is busier than any other opera house in the world. it's like a giant, self- sufficient ocean liner. >> simon: but that liner was in
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danger of sinking when gelb took over in 2006. it was awash in debt with falling attendance and an audience which might not be around much longer. >> gelb: it was way behind the times. and it had become so mired in images of elitism that unless that changed, unless it was prepared to become accessible, as opera once had been, it was going to be very difficult for the met to survive. >> simon: to make opera more accessible, gelb opened up dress rehearsals to the public for free and put up huge screens in lincoln center and times square. and he did something which has never been done before: he began transmitting live performances in hd to movie theaters around the world, now in 64 countries. those broadcasts are money makers; this year they grossed nearly $60 million, more than three-quarters of total tickets
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sold. >> gelb: there's no opera company in the world today that has a global audience that the met has because of these live hd transmissions. >> simon: but you're still a hundred million dollars in debt. how does that relate to everything you've done? >> gelb: opera's always in debt. from a business point of view, opera shouldn't exist. i mean, it only exists because there are enough people who love opera, and my job is to try to persuade them that it is necessary to change in order to keep the art form alive. otherwise... otherwise it will die with them. >> simon: one of gelb's strategies to keep opera alive is to update the classics, like "rigoletto." after four weeks of rehearsals it's opening night. "rigoletto" has been performed over 800 times here but this audience, almost 4,000 here and another 350,000 watching in hd as far away as tokyo, is about to see a radically different version.
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ten minutes before curtain, you can cut the tension with an a flat. ♪ >> beczala: okay, i'm ready. >> lucic: it seems that i'm not nervous. but, yeah, of course i am. this is a big thing, so i'm kind of, you know, cooking somewhere here, you have this feeling that everything's... that you are going to throw up. ( laughs ) >> gilda to stage right, please. ms. damrau to stage right. >> please. >> maestro to the pit, please. maestro to the orchestra pit, please.
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>> simon: giuseppe verdi set his tale of debauchery, lust, and vengeance in a corrupt court in 16th-century italy. this one plays out in its modern equivalent: las vegas in the 1960s. ♪ the heartthrob, the duke, is now a big shot singer and casino owner with an eye for the ladies. ♪ the met provides subtitles for its hd broadcasts, and those have been revamped too. ♪ >> take it easy, fella.
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>> simon: it's a big role of the dice for peter gelb. will the old guard be ready for show girls, a pole dancer, even a sharp-dressed hit man? his name is sparafucile, one of the longest names in opera. ♪ >> simon: when you decided to put on "rigoletto," in las vegas, what worried you the most? >> gelb: that i was heading for a disaster, but it's a risk worth taking. >> simon: the risk of doing nothing is the greatest risk of all. in the last act the mood changes. rigoletto will not have a happy ending. very few operas do. >> damrau: let's go and die.
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>> lucic: yeah, but peacefully. ♪ >> simon: the plot is much too complicated to explain, but we'll just tell you rigoletto's daughter sacrifices herself to save the duke. ♪ it will be a spectacular death scene, with the met pulling out all its stops from the chorus backstage, to the lighting team, to the hd crew sending it out live around the world. the hitman offs the daughter and stuffs her into the trunk of a 1960 cadillac coupe deville. she breathes her last in her father's arms. >> ready on three. wait for it.
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♪ ♪ >> simon: at the final curtain, the audience jumps to its feet, even the orchestra applauds.
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that doesn't happen every day. for gelb, it was a good night. but in opera, as in so many other things, you're only as good as your next night. find chinese restaurant. that's awesome! i know, voice activated and great gas mileage. so much better than choosing voice activated or great gas mileage. that'd be like eating sweet or sour chicken. oh grrrlg what is this?! sour chicken... it's good, right? i think i like "and" better. only ford gives you ecoboost fuel economy aa whole lot more. now, here's another great and - a new ford focus with 0% apr for 60 months and no charge sync-n-sound.
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>> pelley: i'm scott pelley. we'll be back next week with another edition of "60 minutes." tomorrow, be sure to watch cbs this morning, and i'll see you on the cbs evening news. captioning funded by cbs and ford captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org i am today by luck. i put in the hours and built a strong reputation in the industry. i set goals and worked hard to meet them. i've made my success happen. so when it comes to my investments, i'm supposed to just hand it over to a broker and back away? that's not gonna happen. avo: when you work with a schwab financial consultant, you'll get the guidance you need with the control you want. talk to us today. [ gasps ] [ gasps ] where's her brassiere? oh, my... [ both laughing ] [ male announcer ] hate drama? go to cars.com. our dealership reviews help you get the right car without all the drama. cars.com. all drive. no drama.
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phil: previously on "the amazing race," eight teams raced from portugal to norway. a detour put the baseball wives behind early. >> this is so hard. phil: while marie continued to leverage the second express pass. >> guys, what did we do wrong? >> we have an express pass, help us. >> i don't need your express pass. phil: brandon's arctic lunch put he and adam on the road to first place, but the leg wasn't over yet. tim and marie couldn't find the pit stop. >> i have no idea where we're headed. phil: so nicole seized a golden opportunity. >> i will tell i want the express pass. >> do you want it or not? >> i always make all the decision